Go, John Foster

BravesBeat.com–1999 Draft Picks

If nothing else, if Foster keeps pitching like this he may actually redeem the disastrous 1999 draft, one of the worst anyone’s ever had. No first round pick. Second round, Matt Butler, washout. Third round, Pat Manning, washout. Some guys actually made the prospect lists, but they failed too. Matt McClendon blew out his arm and is apparently out of baseball after spending last year in Myrtle Beach. Brett Evert was let go after last season, wound up with Seattle, and was just released by them for stinking up Tacoma.

They spent a 37th-round pick on lil’ Jonny Scheurholz that year. And they knew that he wasn’t going to be signed, it was just a favor. They picked Shaud Williams in the 13th; he was the only person to draw a “major league” check last season, as a backup running back for the Buffalo Bills. From what I can tell, the only players from that draft to make it to the top level of baseball are Foster, picked 25th, and Ben Kozlowski, traded to the Rangers and now a rehab case for the Reds in Chattanooga.

As you probably know, the Braves draft mostly high schoolers. McClendon was the only one of the Braves’ first ten picks that year to be a college player. (The two players to make the majors, Kozlowski and Foster, were both from college, community college in Kozlowski’s case.) Now, let’s please not get into the high schooler/college risk/reward thing right now. Let’s just notice something obvious — any but the very best high schooler is a long way away and something bad is more likely to happen to him before he makes the majors. If you draft mostly high schoolers, even with the best scouting — and the Braves’ scouts are very good — then awful things like the 1999 draft are going to happen sometimes.

9 thoughts on “Go, John Foster”

  1. Andrew Brown was included in the trade for Sheffield, and then with Franklin Guitierrez in the Milton Bradley trade. He’s in AAA for the Indians now, I think, and has a reasonable shot at making the bigs sometime soon.

  2. Danny Graves was just DFAed by the Reds.

    Can’t be any worse than what we have, right?

  3. Can’t be any worse than what we have, right?

    Unfortunately, yes he can.

    K/9 | BB/9 | HR/9
    3.1 | 4.7 | 1.4

    His a FIP ERA if 7.04 is nearly two-runs higher than Kolb’s.

    He’s done.

  4. I’d be tempted to offer him a minor league contract but someone will give him more or guaranteed money. Not worth it. Maybe we can trade Kolb to the Reds, though.

  5. The prospect of a trade with the Reds looks somewhat promising. They have a lot of solid players and they kind of suck, so they might be looking for something. I’m not sure, however, that they suck so much they would take Kolb. Granted, Graves was a lot worse this year, but he hasn’t been in past years and their standards are probably pretty high. Definitely take a pass on Graves, though. I’ve had quite enough of the Braves screwing themselves over by giving someone washed up a second chance. Let’s not pull another Mondesi. Maybe Graves can be rehabbed and be the guy he was before, but haven’t we tried that already without much success? Jaret Wright was a nice reclamation project, but he’s gone (and on the DL!)and Leo’s got his hands full with this pen. Raul the Ghoul has been an unqualified bust. Past mistakes indicate increased caution.

  6. Interesting thoughts about the draft, Mac. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Braves alter their thinking regarding future drafts. With the financial situation they’re in, they may decide it would be more beneficial to draft some college talent with their earlier picks. As you pointed out, high school kids serve quite awhile in the system and increase the risk of injuries during the years the college guys have progressed ahead of them. When they notice how many studs are showing up in only a year or two instead of four or five, they may look that way to try and maintain the team. It could’ve helped if they had a couple of outfielders pushing to make the team instead of going after a couple of has-beens. Bring on Kelly Johnson!

  7. I plan on doing more draft entries in the future. Looking through the drafts of the past 2-3 years, they look like they’ve gone that way a little. They also haven’t been signing as many players, which is disturbing.

  8. Plus Graves is expensive (at least until he clears waivers – and that presume that the Reds don’t offer a spot in the minors).

    I thought Butler would be a player coming out of HS … whoops. He’s still kicking around, as a AA utility player.

  9. The Braves have become a cliche for drafting a larger percentage of high school players than almost all other MLB teams, I want to know how much of that is true, and secondly how much of a factor is being so far down in the draft year after a year made drafting kids a worthy risk

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